Summary: to stress the importance of prayer in the life of the believer, especially when it comes to evangelism

What to Pray for

Colossians 4:2-6

Primary Purpose: To stress the importance of prayer in the life of the

believers, especially when it comes to evangelism.

Paul’s requests for prayer enlightens us as to his priorities in his life.

We would do well to heed his words ad to follow his example. Though he is

suffering personally in a Roman prison this is not even mentioned in his

requests. We here no complains about ill treatment or about his thorn in the

flesh. Instead he encourages the believers in Colossae to be:

1. Devoted to prayer v.2 In the KJV it tells us to continue in prayer. Paul is

telling them to be consistent. Some of us can think of prayer as mainly times

when I am in a quiet place, head bowed, eyes closed, talking with God.

That’s certainly a part of it, but there’s more to it than that. A man named

Thomas Kelly once said,

“there is a way of ordering our mental life on more than one level at once.

On one level we can be thinking, discussing, seeing, calculating, meeting all

the demands of external affairs. But deep within, behind the scenes, at a

profounder level, we may also be in prayer and adoration, song and worship,

and a gnetle receptiveness to divine breathing.”

It may be that we should practice more the idea that Paul had when he said in

1 Thess 5:17 to “pray without ceasing”. We should practice the presence of

Christ in our daily lives and bring things as the Lord shows us concerns,

praises, thanksgiving and all sorts of petitions up to God. It should be as

common as breathing to the believer. Instead, what a lot of people do is they

wait till they get into trouble or something they don’t understand then they

pray until they are spiritually hyperventilating. Then, when trouble passes,

they move on till the next crisis.

I heard about a Pastor who went to visit a wayward man. He needed to

straighten up his life and get right with God. When he saw the pastor, he was

so glad and immediately began to make promises. “I’ll straighten up my life.

I’ll quit drinking and smoking and I’ll get back to church every Sunday. I’ll

start tithing and quit running around on my wife etc etc. .”

At the conclusion, the pastor took the patient’s hand, kneeled by his

bedside as was his custom and prayed: “Lord, you’ve heard Brother Brown’s

promises of what he’ll do if you heal him. If he means it,cure him. If he

doesn’t, kill him. Amen.” And the pastor got up and walked out of the room

without saying another word.

Paul added another quality to this request and that is to be watchful.

We should in other words be expectant. We should believe by faith that God

is working and wait to see what he does. Watchful also means that we should

continue to do our work. The hard working farmer may pray that the bugs

don’t eat all the crops, but that doesn’t stop him from spraying if need be.

You do your part and pray with the expectation that God will do his.

Do we really pray with that kind of expectation? Do we still believe

God can do miracles? Is Hull, Texas off limits to the power of God? No.

We should realize that the same God who parted the Red Sea and names the

stars hears us when we pray.

2. Praying for opportunities to share Christ. The early church did this. They

were watchful about people who needed Jesus and desired chances to share

their faith. Paul was already in chains because of the gospel, but that didn’t

stop him. Paul tells us to “make the most of every opportunity” to witness

and honor Christ in all that we do. Do you make the most of the

opportunities God does give you?

3. Praying that the gospel is shared clearly. The Judeans had eyes and ears,

but couldn’t see or hear spiritual truth. This to me is where our church fails

sometimes. There is a way that the gospel can be clearly shared with all

people groups. The church has to be careful to share the gospel in a way that

is relevant. A early church father use to say, “Share Christ at every

opportunity, and if necessary, use words.” Do I share my faith, both in words

and deeds in a way that makes the gospel relevant and appealing. Do people

see the practical ways the gospel works in their lives. More importantly, do

people see the difference the gospel makes in my life.

Not long ago, I was getting my car brakes repaired. I was in a hurry

and was told the repair work would be done in about a hour. An hour came

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